(The Center Square) – In response to a Tuesday SOS from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to fellow governors seeking help at the southern border, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was among the first to answer the call. Florida is sending more than 1,000 personnel, including 800 National Guard troops, to help secure the Texas-Mexico border.
“Florida stands ready to help defend the southern border and is deploying assets to aid Texas’ border security crisis,” DeSantis announced within an hour of Abbott’s call on Tuesday.
“The impacts of Biden’s Border Crisis are felt by communities across the nation, and the federal government’s abdication of duty undermines the sovereignty of our country and the rule of law,” he said. “At my direction, state agencies including law enforcement and the Florida National Guard are being deployed to Texas, with assets including personnel, boats and planes. While Biden ignores the crisis he created, Florida stands ready to help Texas respond to this crisis.”
Florida is sending more than 1,100 assets and resources, including 101 Florida Highway Patrol troopers, 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers in teams of 40, 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers, 800 Florida National Guard soldiers, and 20 Emergency Management personnel, including radio technicians, logisticians, mechanics and planners.
The state also is sending five available fixed wing aircraft with monitoring equipment and downlink capabilities with two aviation crew teams, two Mobile Command Vehicles and two command teams, 17 available unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and support teams, and 10 vessels – including airboats, shallow draft vessels, and mid-range vessels.
“We stand with Texas as they work to repel illegal aliens at the border,” Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said. “We are prepared to assist however needed.”
The Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida National Guard, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are ready to deploy within the next 24 hours, he said.
Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, Abbott notes in his letter to the 49 governors, states can provide resources, including personnel, to other states to assist in times of emergency, which the GOP governors who responded agree the border crisis warrants.
Texas and Florida are both parties to the EMAC and accept support from each state at any time through an EMAC request. The EMAC process also ensures resources and personnel deployed for emergency situations are eligible for FEMA reimbursement.
In July 2021, DeSantis also sent troops and reinforcements, meeting with Abbott in Del Rio, Texas, to discuss joint border security operations.
DeSantis is again sending assistance now after the Florida legislature passed extensive border security measures. Florida is continuing to be negatively impacted by Biden administration policies, state lawmakers and law enforcement chiefs have argued. Biden administration policies have directly resulted in increased crime, human and drug trafficking and smuggling and are burdening taxpayers in other ways, they have argued.
Groups of tens of thousands of foreign nationals have already arrived in the Rio Grande Valley and other areas of Texas, overwhelming Border Patrol agents to a breaking point, officials said. Abbott has sent over 10,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border as Texas border communities continue to declare emergencies.
The Texas governor also asked for help after at least 125 known, suspected terrorists have been caught illegally entering the southern border this fiscal year to date and as the former ICE chief argues Biden administration policies are the greatest national security threat since 9/11.
The Biden administration continues to claim the border is closed, something Abbott and DeSantis argue is verifiably false.